And Just When I’d Left the Country

Google Maps Mania: Want to be on Google Maps? Be in Sydney, Australia Jan. 26th!

Google is planning to take aerial photos of the city of Sydney, Australia on January 26th, 2007 and it has invited everyone to take part! They’ve set up a Google Maps powered plane-tracker website that will tell you what time the plane is expected for various times in the day by clicking within the fly-zone of the plane

Here are some more links from Google Maps Mania…
Official Page: Australia Day 2007 on Google Maps
Sydney Morning Herald: Google wants to put you on the map– Stephen Hutcheon gets the scoop on the event from Google Australia’s head of engineering, Lars Rasmussen.
Mashup Blog (SMH): Smile for the Google cameras

Recent Post:Google Maps Australia is now live(with new Aus mashups)

HT to cityofsound

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Moving to Canada

As many of you know, I’m traveling to Canada in the next couple of days, and with past performance of posting while on the move pretty poor, I’m expecting a bit of a holiday from the blog until the weekend.

I’m catching the train to Sydney this afternoon and spending two nights with my sister and mum, then flying out on Thursday afternoon for Honolulu. I get a 17 hour stopover in Hawaii, (from 7 in the morning till midnight the same day. I’ve sorted out a car and some touristy sorts of things to do, (as well as some free wifi!).  I then fly on from Honolulu to Vancouver, then onto Castlegar, arriving at midday on Friday. Robyn and the girls have set up house already and seem to have gotten most things sorted. I’m just looking forward to getting there now!

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Seven Sustainability Predictions for 2007

Christmas 2006 is here, and it’s time to spin the wheel of fortune and see what the year ahead has in store for sustainability, technology and the environment, globally, but with a focus on Australia, (cause that’s where I’ve been). If you’ve arrived from the problogger group writing project, welcome and have a look around!

When I look at the year that has been and the posts that have been floating around, there’s been some great developments, but equally, it feels that nothing has changed, and we’ve still got so far to go. Here’s my take and tips on what might happen in 2007…

  1. Solar power will reach the masses. Silicon Valley has quietly been undergoing a transformation from being the computer-chip hub of the world into another serious industry that uses silicon wafers – Solar Power. Billions of dollars are being spent creating higher power efficiencies and thinner photo voltaic cells through processes that can increase production significantly. OAll this money and effort will have to translate into consumer spending soon.
  2. Eastern Australia will remain in drought. While the authorities fight over the best way to manage water supply and usage, the country is getting drier. Whole cities are on the verge of being declared un-sustainable up and down the coast. Cities like Sydney and Perth are in the process of considering desalination plants and water reuse and recycling schemes. But ultimately, 2007 won’t bring the rains needed to replenish dams and aquifers for our overpopulated catchments. The farmers might get a break, but the cities will remain dry. More after the jump…

PM Calls Urgent Murray-Darling Melbourne Cup Lunch


Oh sorry, it’s not a Melbourne Cup lunch, it’s an Urgent Water Summit.  All of a sudden it’s urgent? Where has the Prime Minister of Australia been for the past ten years through this drought? And holding this meeting on Melbourne Cup day, a public holiday in Victoria, that’s un-Australian surely!

PM calls urgent Murray-Darling water summit Prime Minister John Howard has called an urgent water summit with the New South Wales, Victorian and South Australian Premiers. A spokesman for New South Wales Premier Morris Iemma, says he received a call last week from Mr Howard’s office calling for the summit next week. The meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday in Canberra and will focus on the Murray Darling basin, as well as the drought.

Source: PM calls urgent Murray-Darling water summit. 05/11/2006. ABC News Online

Federal Opposition Leader Kim Beazley says the Commonwealth must show leadership to deal with the nation’s growing water problems.

Parliamentary secretary for water Malcolm Turnbull has told Channel Nine the Murray-Darling Basin is facing a serious crisis. “By the end of the irrigation season in April or May, the big dams on the river will be just about empty,” he said. Mr Beazley says the Federal Government has to take the lead on water. He says Mr Howard is only now discussing the issue of water because there is political pressure on him to do so. “

John Howard discovers water about 12 months before every election,” he said.

Source: Leadership needed on water, Labor says. 05/11/2006. ABC News Online

The largest of our river systems is at record lows, running near empty for much of it’s length. Hopefully these guys won’t call for a committee to investigate, and will hold some hard answers and solutions to this problem. I heard it reported that thirsty agricultural crops will not be changed or abandoned, even though many of them are unsuitable for Australia’s climate and prolonged drought conditions. Ahh, the wheels of politics grind slowly.